Elections in Australia
The election in Australia is about electing a legislature which is the Parliament of the Commonwealth of Australia. There are different election systems used in electing a legislature in Australia. There are two chambers in a parliament. First is the House of Representatives. This chamber has 150 members. The members are elected for a three-year term which is in proportional single-member constituencies. It also has an alternative voting system called the preferential voting. The other chamber is the Senate. This camber has 76 members. The members are elected via preferential system. This preferential system has a proportional representation in each of the 12 seat state constituencies. It also has two-seat territorial constituencies. The system for this is the single transferable vote. The electors will choose territorial senators for terms that are non-fixed which will be delimited on the election dates for the House of Representatives. The senators of each states serves for six years. Their six-year terms are fixed except if there is a double dissolution. Voting is compulsory in te federal and state elections of Australia.
There is a de facto two-party system in Australia. The two-party system is between the Australian Labor party and the coalition of the other groups including the National Party of Australia, Liberal Party of Australia, Country Liberal party and the Liberal National Party. It is very hard for other parties to win representation in the House of Representatives. This means, it is even harder to win in the government. However, there is still a reasonable access for minor parties and independent candidates to the Senate through a more favorable voting system. Recently, minor parties and other independent candidates which are not part of ALP or the coalition are getting important representation in the Senate. Some of these parties are the DLP, the Australian Democrats, The Greens, and the Australian Greens. There are also other independent candidates and senators who has exercised their influence in the Senate. Some of these individual senators are Brian Harradine, Steve Fielding and Nick Xenophon.
There are different rules that determine when each of the elections will happen. The first rule is that the House of Representatives will not last for more than three years after its first meeting. However, it may be dissolved earlier. When the House is already dissolved, they must meet not after 140 days. There is a three year gap between elections. This is the maximum. The terms of the Senators on the other have a fixed duration. The elections must be held one year before the expiration of the term. The senators who are representing the territories have terms which are not fixed. These are also tied to the dates when the elections for the House of Representatives takes place.